Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thoughts on my weekend.

My grandfather's death hit my family really hard. I wrote this one morning while at my grandmother's house.

Ah, what grief can do to people.

My grandmother is lost without my grandfather, but she is hanging on. She will break down and cry, but only when she is with family. She is keeping up with responsibilities. She is also making sure that everyone is dressed appropriately for the funeral and memorial service. I think she will get through this, though it is hard for her to see that right now.

My aunt is running herself into the ground getting the memorial service together. Most of the family suspects she is headed toward pneumonia, but you cannot tell her that without her getting upset. Not only is she grieving, but she is also on high does of prednisone. Can we say immune system compromise? She says has too much to do to stop, though. I suspect she will collapse at some point this week. Hopefully she will not be too sick to make the memorial service she worked so hard to put together.

My mother is actually doing fairly well. She was here for the death. She thought it was a wonderful death. It was healing for her in some ways. My mother is mainly here to sit with Grandmother, and do some hand holding. Obviously, my aunt is not great at that, and my grandmother could use some hand holding right now. I think it is a good thing that my mother is here. Her problem is that she cannot see. She has cataracts and retinal issues with both eyes, and decided to put off the surgeries until after the memorial service. My mother always said that whatever is going on with your body is going on with you. I think there is something to that. Not sure what in this case…

Yeah, my family is quite the group in stressful situations.


Since I wrote that, my aunt spoke with a friend of the family who was involved with hospice for a while, and understands gried. Hopefully it will encourage her to take care of herself. Both my mother and myself encouraged my grandmother to be gentle with herself. We encouraged her to spend as much time in her pajamas as possible. I hope that she does. I think she needs time to process her grief.

We never did find a dress for me to wear to the funeral I think my grandmother wants us in all black. Apparently, back dresses for bigger girls are hard to find. (And apparently bigger pregnant girls in NoVa do not need maternity clothes, or bigger girls in NoVa just do not get pregnant. I do not know, but I was damn frustrated.) We did find a black skirt that everyone liked. I managed to find a black shirt I could wear with it (once I got home). My grandmother sort of wanted me to have something long sleeved, so it would be more formal. I am thinking more comfort. It is likely going to be warm next weekend, and I am pregnant. I am warm-natured right now. I am not going to want to wear a jacket or a sweater when it is hot. Just not gonna happen. Deal with it.

My mother and father are at Smith.mountain.lake for a few days. My mom wanted to get out of her normal environment and get back to nature. Hopefully this will help. They are staying in a cabin at the state park. Apparently, the cabins are really nice. They seem to be enjoying themselves, at any rate.

Unfortunately, I am back to work tomorrow. I wish I did not have to go, but I really ought to. I have a vacation coming up I need to save PTO for. There is also this baby coming. I really ought to save PTO for some leave time. Still wish I did not have to go back to work.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Inevitable.

My dad just called me. (Yes, at 5:30 AM! I was up anyway, getting ready for work.) My grandfather has passed away. I suspect he held on just long enough to die at home. I hope it was peaceful for him.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Want to hide.

Crappy day at work today, and I am totally wiped out. After days like that, I really wish I could drink. Sigh. But maybe I will have a dove bar later. Small consolation, though.

My grandfather did make it home with hospice care. The hospice nurses place him in the later stages of dying. He is not really responsive, and his breathing is slow and raspy. My mother decided to stay up at my grandparents for the duration. Apparently my grandmother is doing better than she thought. My dad and my sister are going up to visit my grandparents tomorrow. I am trying to decide if it is worth it to go up this weekend. I guess I will see what the next couple of days bring.

Thank you all for keeping me and my family in your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate all the nice comments and support. It means a lot.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


My mother called tonight. Apparently my grandfather does not have a lot of time left. My mother told me the hospice nurse said that he may not even be able to make it home. How true that is remains to be seen. My mother has a tendency to exaggerate. Though my grandmother did deny the situation for so long that it could be true. My grandfather is not doing well at all. Hospice is setting up a bed at my grandparent's house for him, should he be able to make it home. And I hope he does get home, at least to die.

My mother is going up to Reston tomorrow. By herself. I think it is great that she is going up there to be with him and my grandmother. My grandmother is going crazy at the thought of losing my grandfather. She has not been without my grandfather is several decades. No wonder my grandmother is going a little nuts.

Please keep my family in your thoughts and prayers. This is just a tough situation all around. And I am stuck here because I have to work. On the other side of the state.

Monday, August 24, 2009

LIfe and Death

I finally have my computer back. And I have a working m key and punctuation. Actually, an entire new keyboard on my laptop. It is a beautiful thing. Hubby and I are much more comfortable as a two computer family. I can blog and Hubby can surf his own internets. We are much happier, and I will hopefully be more productive on my blog. We will see. I have a lot of 10 hour shifts the rest of this block, and they wear me out.

My 20 week anatomy ultrasound was this morning. I seem to have a healthy baby. And it is a boy! Clear as day. We got a great shot from the rear end, and the boy parts were clear as day. Will post pics later this week. (Likely on the weekend, so just be patient.) Hubby took the afternoon off because he knew he would not be able to concentrate. He is excited about having a boy. Well, I think he is excited to have a healthy baby, but he was just bursting to tell everyone the news. My family is all excited. This is my parent's first grandchild. My dad is really excited about the boy. I have no male siblings, so my dad will likely want to do all the boy things he missed out on. I think MIL was hoping for a girl. She already has several grandsons. She is still happy for us, though. She gets another grandchild.

I finally talked to my grandmother today, too. She is happy for us, but she is busy caring for my grandfather as he dies. She is very excited about the baby. I think she uses as a distraction. My grandfather has been very sick. In pain, and vomiting constantly. It does not look good. I heard from my mother that she finally is looking into hospice. I think this may actually be true. Apparently, they are going home tomorrow. She mentioned converting an alcove in their bedroom to make space for a hospital bed. I hope this means that my grandfather will be able to die at home.

Talking to my grandmother today made me think about how cyclical life is. I am not sure how I want to say this. I am losing my grandfather, but we are gaining the next generation of the family. A loss and a gain. Happening at the same time. Maybe they will cancel each other out a little, but there will still be grieving for the loss of a family member. And there will also be happiness about the new life. My family may feel pulled in two different directions as they mourn the loss of my grandfather, and welcome a new life. Definitely a bittersweet feeling. I may blog more on this as my thoughts come together.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sunny day, with a few clouds.

I survived the week. Again. Thank goodness. And I got paid on Friday. Even better! And I now have enough PTO to take a vacation in September. That is the best!

It is a sunny day today, though it is humid and slightly overcast. I think that sort of describes how I feel right now. Things seem to be going well, with everything, really. Though there is a dark cloud on the horizon.

My job is still there. No talk of firing me. The only counseling I got recently was for 4 attendance occurrences so far this year. Personally, I think that is pretty good, considering I went through at least 1 IUI, and one IVF cycle. I could have been out a lot more.

Things also seem to be going well with the pregnancy. I feel more confident about it every week. My next ultrasound is Monday, and I am really exited to get another look at the little one. I am more comfortable being open about being pregnant. Most people at work know that I am pregnant, so they watch out for me as much as possible. That is really nice. I rented a doppler so that Hubby and I could listen to the heartbeat whenever we want. That is probably one of the best things I did. It is very reassuring for us when we hear the baby's heartbeat. Also, I finally broke down and went to a Mother.hood store. My shape is just getting too round. The salesperson in the store knew immediately that I needed clothes. It was obvious that I was pregnant, and I think my shirt fit funny. I discovered I love Mother.hood. Finally, maternity clothes which look nice, and I can wear out with my husband! I think I will be back there again as it gets cooler!

We finally started clearing out our basement! Hubby put up storage shelving, and I unpacked a few boxes. Well, I mainly unpacked my china. I like having it easily accessible, if I need it. It also motivated us to purge, some. I got rid of a few things. Though I really tried to purge before we moved. There is still more work to do down there, but at least we got started!

My computer is ready to be picked up, and I will likely pick it up on Monday. I am very excited to have my own computer back. No more computer sharing!

Our dogs are being really obnoxious right now. We suspect there is a female in heat somewhere in our neighborhood. Oscar has been very fixated on Gertrude. (Remember that Oscar is intact, and Gertrude has no girly parts, and has never gone into heat.) Oscar has been following Gertrude around and licking her rear end. He has also attempted to mount her, though not very forcefully. (Thank goodness for small favors!) Mostly he puts his head on her back and humps the air. Gertrude will snap at him if he gets on her nerves.

We tried putting vick's vapor rub on his nose, but he just licks it off and goes back to pursuing Gertrude. I tried putting the vick's on Gertrude, but that does not seem to curb the behavior, either. I hope it is passing. He did fine on our walk today, and is more willing to leave Gertrude alone. Keep fingers crossed that it will pass soon. I want our mellow boy back!

The only really dark cloud is my grandfather. He is now on a PCU (a monitored unit), not the med-surg floor he is usually admitted to. I suspect his liver and kidney issues are getting more serious. At the moment, I do not have a lot of info other than he is admitted to the PCU. And that does not sound good.

But at least I have a distraction tonight! My favorite band is at my favorite bar, and I am meeting a great friend. Should be a good evening! (Even if I cannot drink. Sigh.)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good:

It has been a wonderfully pleasant weekend. I went to a Salem Red.sox baseball game with my parents last night. It was great. It was really nice talking with my mother and getting caught up on stuff. The best part of the weekend is that I was not called in today. I have not moved much off the couch today. It has been very relaxing.

The Bad and the Ugly:

My grandfather is back in the hospital. I am not sure if I posted on this, yet. He apparently has a blockage in his liver which cannot be unblocked. The pieces of information I get seem to indicate that the blockage may be somewhere between the liver and the duodenum. This could be the reason for the liver problems, and the fact that he still has a g-tube to maintain nutrition. Apparently his kidneys do not look really good, either. The heavy duty antibiotics and the parenteral nutrition have taken their toll. In general, he sounds pretty miserable. He is apparently going home on morphine. My grandmother and my aunt maintain that he wants to fight until the end. Just what they are fighting at this point is beyond me.

It is difficult for me to get a clear picture of what is going on. I am geographically and emotionally distanced from the situation. The info I get is usually secondhand from either one of two sources. Info is either from from my aunt, who is so close to the situation that she is not thinking clearly or logically. Or my mother, who occasionally goes up to visit, but is trying to keep some distance so she does not go completely crazy. My mother is not really clear about what is going on, probably because it upsets her too much to understand it. My mother does not do well with hospitals and health care in general. I cannot say that I blame her for trying to stay away from it.

Grief can make families crazy. As a nurse, I see this on a regular basis. My family is no exception. Grief can bring all the dysfunction to the surface and drive people apart. Right now, my aunt and my grandmother are so focused on keeping my grandfather alive that they do not think about other family member's needs. They have asked my mother to move in for a while and help with my grandfather's care. My mother is unable emotionally to do this. Apparently this is unacceptable to my aunt and my grandmother, both of whom have come down very hard on my mother. I think this is very hard on my mother, as she is grieving the potential loss in her own way. I wish I could make it better, but I doubt there is a lot I can do.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ah... the weekend is finally here!

It felt like it would never get here! At least I can rest a little. I am on call during the day on Sunday, and there is a reasonable chance I will get called in. (They seem to always need the Sunday call people, for some reason.) Obviously, I am hoping I am not needed. Keep your fingers crossed that I will get the chance to rest on Sunday!

Saturday my parents are coming down to go to a baseball game with us. I think it will be fun, and it will be good to see my parents again. I suspect they may stay overnight somewhere and explore the area some. Maybe. I do not know. Just a feeling I get. Sort of a spur of the moment trip, so I do not know all of their plans.

Tonight is our veg-out night. I do not have anything on my agenda this evening other than some quality couch time. I think I need it. Just trying to rest while I can.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Two for one day!

Two posts in one day! I know, unheard of for me. But I wanted to keep the award separate from the rest of the random thoughts. And these thoughts are fairly random.

I had the day off today for an endocrinologist appointment. I seem to be doing well from his point of view. I think I was so relieved to hear it, I forgot to get a new prescription for my metformin. Now I will have to call his office to get the prescription. Sigh. Just not sure where my brain has gone lately. I like blaming it on the pregnancy.

I think I am going to try to get my computer in for repairs. The place I plan on taking it to has a large backlog, which means I will be without my computer for at least 8 days! That is just when they will be able to look at it, not when they will have the repair done. I think it may be a rough week or two, but hopefully it will be cheaper than buying a new Macbook. Hubby said he will let me use his computer some. Small consolation. So, I may not be able to post a lot over the next week or two. Just letting you all know.

I have had awful heartburn lately. Really popping the tums. Not sure what else to do. I guess I will bring up up with Dr Sweetness at my next OB appointment. Still tired, too. It feels like it will never really get better, so I may as well get used to it. All of this comes with the territory, so I do not want to complain too much, but I am really sick of feeling tired and yucky. From what I can tell it does not get better, either. Just trying to grin and bear it, and enjoy what time off I have.

Lovely Blog Award

Apparently I have a lovely blog!


Accept the award; post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his/her blog link. Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

I have been terrible about awards lately, but I thought I would do this one.
John and Angel over at Ready to Start our Family gave me this award
I may not do this right because I do not know when I started following these blogs. And I am feeling lazy, so I only highlighted 10. I have not added a lot of new blogs lately. (I know I am a bad blogger!)

Bee in the Bonnet
Hope in Virginia
I Can Has Bebe?
IF Haiku (more of a group effort but a wonderful blog nonetheless)
Little Pieces of My Life
Indi's Human
Baby Making Journey
A Journey Through Infertility
Mommy Wanna-be
Fractured Rainbows
Baby Makin Chronicles

If there is anyone else who wants to have a lovely blog, feel free to nominate yourself. I have a few spots open!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

At least I had the weekend.

I finally had a weekend to get caught up on rest, housekeeping, and hubby time. Our dinner last night was wonderful. The food was excellent, and it was lovely having an evening with just the two of us.

I also finally have a clean house. The bathrooms are clean, the floors are vacuumed, and our sheets are changed. I feel better able to face the week with a clean house.

I do not really want to go back to work on Monday. I am not sure how much of that is pregnancy blahs, and how much is because my job just sucks. It is likely a mixture of both. My vacation is about 6 weeks away. I think I can make it without going nuts, but it will likely be close.

I have felt really used and abused at work. You all are probably getting tired of hearing it. I will try to complain less, but I need to get this off my chest. Last week I was scheduled 4 hours of overtime. Late in the day on Friday, the charge nurse was talking to me, and she was worried because I had not smiled all day. I told her I was exhausted, and I hurt, and all I wanted to do was go home. Unfortunately, she did not send me home, and sent me to a room after a break. At least I got the break. Also, apparently one of my managers wanted to talk me, likely about attendance. I did not think my attendance has been too bad, aside from calling in that one time. But maybe that is enough to get a talking-to. Sigh. It is soooo tempting not to return after maternity leave is up. It is enough to drive me back to the floor, or even to a clinic. Maybe even graduate school.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I made it!

I made it through the week! I was so tired last night that I fell asleep on the couch and went to bed really early. Like by 8 PM. And I was asleep by 8:30. Likely today I am going to try to do the least amount possible. I have to get dog food, and I am tempted to see what I can find at the local Motherhood store. The only problem is the the Motherhood is in the mall. Not sure I am up to crazy mall crowds today. We will see how I feel. I may feel better after a bath.

Hubby is taking me out to dinner tonight to celebrate our 13th anniversary one week late. It is a blues bar sort of place with lots of great beer on tap. He is really enjoying having a designated driver for the time being.

I think I need to send my computer in for repairs. I spilled some water on it this week, and now my m key, my period key, and comma key do not work. Fortunately, we have a spare keyboard I can connect to my little mac laptop. (And I can continue blogging with correct punctuation, sort of.) I miss just being able to type on my laptop, though. I would love to have a new computer, but I do not think that is in the budget right now. Really the only thing wrong is that those keys do not work. Hopefully they can be fixed.

May blog more later. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Oh, so tired!

Very tired. The past two weekends have been busy for me, so I have not had a restful weekend in a couple of weeks. I have two days until the weekend, and no plans! I am really looking forward to it. I just need to make it there. In the meantime, my back hurts, and my knees really hurt. Thank goodness the weekend is coming up!

I had a really nice day in eyes today. Really nice day. And I am actually assigned to a gyno room tomorrow, and it is not a robot room! The only problem I see in the day is there is a D and C for a missed abortion at the end of the schedule. I do not know if I am the appropriate circulator for that case. Under my scrubs it is not too obvious, so it might not be so bad. I think most of my patients do not even notice that I am pregnant, so it may not even be an issue. I will just roll with it, and hope it works out for the best.

I also get to start another class with Gertrude tomorrow. We are going to see what the good canine citizen class is like. I need to do the homework this time. Really. I think she can do it, if I can keep up with the training. Really, I think she just enjoys the time with me. And that is fine.

Back to resting on the couch. May go to bed soon.